A Travellerspoint blog

On to Nassau

sunny 75 °F

We got up at the usual time, about 0600, and got the boat ready to get underway. It was pretty close to high tide, so leaving early seemed like a good idea. During this I got to thinking about our planned anchorage for the evening. It struck me that the fine sand we had seen on the beach would also be the same sand in which we would be anchoring. Our experience in Biscayne Bay, Florida, which also has a very fine sand bottom, was that the Danforth anchor was the only one that had good holding. So, off goes the Manson Supreme and on goes the Fortress, something we have done often and easily. When we were in Nassau two years ago we visited some marine supply stores and the only anchors they sold were Danforth anchors. Maybe there's a reason.


We went very slowly trying to find the channel using the depth meter, no markers, and turned the corner to head for the cut. Imagine our surprise when we could not find the #@!*^% thing, once again. Carol said that she was sure that the channel was in a particular direction, so we went that way until the depth hit 5.5-ft. and then backed up like crazy to get out of the shallow water. There was a fairly large ship moored to our port and it was starting to get underway. We reckoned that that captain could find the channel, so we followed him out. Without that "seeing eye dog" we probably would not have found it this time either. It's so well concealed that Capt. Jack Sparrow could hide the Black Pearl from the English fleet without worry.


There was a little wind on Sunday, and we motor sailed most of the way, making great time 6~7 knots, covering about 50 nm. It's remarkable how much route planning changes when the basic daily increment is 50 nm, rather than 40 nm. Carol mentioned that when we cleared the North West Channel on the last trip we were making less than 3 knots prior to the engine failing in the channel to Chubb Cay. Today, 6.5~7.0 knots and no problems except for one little thing. About four hours into the trip we saw what looked like steam or, possibly, smoke in the companion way, above the engine compartment. Major panic attack! I opened the engine hatch expecting to see the worst and saw ....... nada, bupkus, nothing. No smoke, no fluids boiling off, the temperatures were good, everything was dry, no odors from fried electrical insulation, no alarms going off, no similar haze of any kind in the engine compartment. We have no clue what it could have been, but we both know what we saw. I'm thinking POLTERGEIST!

We thought that we might stay at the mooring field at Fraziers Hog Cay despite the facility being closed for renovations. Carol was talking to someone and was told that another sailboat had done that just that and that the mooring ball cable had parted and the boat got into serious trouble. The next plan was to anchor west of Chubb Cay with the newly installed Fortress anchor. As we approached the anchoring area we saw that there were no boats anchored, maybe just a coincidence although the wind was probably a little more brisk than would be comfortable there. There was also a boat that looked like a dredge moored in the area. So we bailed and headed for the marina, always a safe choice but, here, an expensive one.

Having left the marina we awarded ourselves the Anchoring Weenie Award. The barges & dredges were gone; there were two sailboats anchored where we would have; there were several more anchored at Texaco point; and, even more near Whale Cay. I guess that we are forever scarred by our first anchoring experience at Okracoke, which went bad and almost ended very badly. I figure that we will spend a lot of time on the hook; we're just not in a hurry to do so if there is a better alternative.

On day 26 of the trip, having left Brunswick on 12/14/11, we got to Nassau, it being 625 days since we last entered this port. This time was better! The last time we limped to the port, got towed to the harbor and towed again to the marina. This entry was under our own power ... what a concept! Things are pretty much the same at the Nassau Harbour Club Marina. Peter still runs the place; Dudley is still the dock master. The main difference: the pool has been repaired, a prospect against which Carol would have bet big money .... and lost. We are in exactly the same slip as 625 days before.

We went to dinner tonight at a Chinese restaurant which we had frequented before and to which Carol wanted to go again. Food must be important to her; she remembered the combinations she wanted and the menu page on which they were printed. We left for the restaurant at 5:30PM and the traffic along East Bay Street, which goes in front of the marina, was just like the Dan Ryan Expressway, and it was backed up to the other side of the bridge from Paradise Island. When we left after dinner an hour later ... no change, including the bridge. I do not know how there could be so many cars on that island but we were told that it will be like that until 9:00PM.

The good news was that when we arrived at the marina the package from Boat Owners Warehouse was here with the spare toilet part. The bad news was that I asked Carol to order two and they only sent one. Not a major problem because 1>0. The fee at this marina includes fresh water; it's not separate and metered as in many marinas in the Bahamas. That's good because this boat needs to be cleaned. After the last two passages we have an alternate plan for trip financing: scrape the salt off the boat, put it in 5-lb. bags and sell it. I guess that we have at least 10 bags we could fill.

We've just been doing chores, getting ready to head south. Two of the last untested items were the dinghy and motor, the motor not being much of a concern since we had it serviced at a Mercury dealer in Brunswick that was nice enough to hold it for us until we left in December. Still, if there were a problem, Nassau would be a good place to get it fixed. We have had the dinghy during two previous trips and the motor for the trip last year. The only place the two have been used together was in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL, which has all sort of speed restrictions. The motor, improbably, fired up on the very first pull and off I went. With just me in the boat, it went fast enough to be scary when there was a wake in the water or any sort of wave; it felt like it wanted to get airborne. I'm sure that with Carol as additional ballast getting airborne will not be a problem.

Having dispensed with that the other item was the SSB and getting the weather, in this case, Chris Parker. So one morning, when I was semi-coherent, I powered it up at 0630 and waited. In the islands 0630 is not an promise of precision, military or otherwise; waiting 5 or 10 minutes is part of the deal. We never heard Chris Parker, but we did hear lots of cross talk so we know that the unit works. In most populated islands these is a VHF net that rebroadcasts the weather so, not too much about which to be concerned.

When in Great Harbour Cay a gentleman told us about FFFFF, The First Friday in February Farmers Festival, in this case Farmers referring to Little Farmers Cay, the last stop for most boats before heading into the open water, south to Georgetown. A friend of ours, Debbie, plans to be there so we would like to meet her there and enjoy the fun.

That's a ways away, so our plan is to sit out some very windy weather here in Nassau where we are secure and the costs are much less than those in the smaller islands. Depending on how the weather settles out, we may not leave until next Tuesday, fine with Carol because they have conch here in Nassau too.

Our night view of Nassau Harbour.


Posted by sailziveli 09:53 Archived in Bahamas Tagged boats

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: